Idaho’s Dual-Credit Program Continues to Shine

Adam Galliano, Writer

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One of the greatest opportunities that Idaho High school students can utilize is the Dual Credit program. Since its inception, the dual-credit program has truly been a resounding success.
According to a report form Dr. Linda Clark, the President of the Idaho State Board of Education, “Five years ago, Idaho launched its dual credit program for high school students, and it has been a resounding success. The idea behind the program is to give students a jump-start on their college education by enabling them to take college-level courses while still in high school, meaning they can earn college credit before they step on a college campus with nearly half of the 2017 graduating class earned dual credits compared to just under a third of the 2014 graduating class.”
When the program was first formed in 2014, credits were offered to high school juniors and sophomores with three credit and six credit limits being applied respectively. At this time, parents were required to foot the bill.
In 2014, State legislators and Governor Butch Otter implemented the Advanced Opportunities program, which appropriated funds for students seeking assistance with tuition costs. They enacted the Advanced Opportunities program and appropriated funds for the 2014-15 school year.
According to the report, an astounding number of students achieved great success with the program. As of 2017, “48 percent of graduating seniors earned a total of 93,551 dual credits, an increase of 158 percent compared to the 2013 graduating class.”
An interesting side effect from the program’s growth is the data showing how many students who participated in the program have gone on to a higher education institution immediately following their high school graduation. The participants have also shown a much greater chance of continuing onto their sophomore year in college, maintaining courses at a greater rate than non-participating students.
Some students have even achieved their Associates degrees before graduating high school. In 2017, 121 participating students had earned enough equivalent credits to earn a two-year degree.
Newly-elected Idaho Governor Brad Little has also been a driving force with the program. In his newest state budget, Little appropriated an additional $3 million towards the program, providing even greater opportunities for Idaho’s High School students to achieve even greater heights with their education goals.